Tuesday, September 16, 2014

México: Two Moderate Earthquakes Strike Baja California as CAT3 Hurricane Makes Landfall

According to The Latin American Tribune, two moderate earthquakes rocked Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula on Monday (September 15), but no injuries or damage have been reported, the National Seismology Service said.

A magnitude-5.2 earthquake hit at 0150 hours and was followed by a 5.1 tremor at 0723 hours.

The quakes’ epicenters were in unpopulated areas near the town of San Felipe.

“No seismic alerts are in effect,” the service said.

Residents of the Baja California Peninsula have been dealing since Sunday (September 14) with Hurricane Odile.

COMMENT: The hurricane, a Category 3 storm, made landfall early Monday (September 15).

The state of Baja California Sur, which is home to the resort area of Los Cabos, is being battered by heavy rains, strong winds and a powerful storm surge.

México, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.

The Cocos tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which has a population of 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco.

The magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City on September 19, 1985, was the most destructive to ever hit México, killing some 10,000 people, injuring more than 40,000 others and leaving 80,000 people homeless.

The most recent powerful quake to hit México was a magnitude-7.6 temblor that rocked Colima on January 21, 2003.